The performance of the European venture capital industry has historically been worse than that of the industry in the US. While there are many reasons for this, one contentious factor that is often touted is that investors on this side of the Atlantic are less well able to find and nurture those businesses that have the potential to achieve high growth.
Mix together different disciplines and technologies, theory goes, and the sparks of creativity and innovation will fly; but many science parks (like incubators) have been more like property companies than crucibles of alchemy.
I was recently given a glimpse of Springboard, the 13-week Cambridge based accelerator, in operation, which set me wondering what might be the next developments in processes or programmes for the development of innovations and new businesses.
Data from OECD countries shows a roughly inverse correlation between spending on health and mortality and a roughly inverse correlation between growth in spending on health and improvements in mortality (the correlations hold even if the US is excluded).
Industrial policy is back. Vince Cable, Britain's Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills is calling for a "proper industrial policy" to create "a different type of economy".
Earlier this month I participated in a fascinating panel discussion at the Institute for Government (IfG) on the topic of using experiments to inform policy.
Industrial policy is and always has been at heart about increasing the quantity and quality of investment in products and services for the future.
Over the last few years I've often asked friends why it is that the users of Facebook and Google don't band together to demand a share of the capital value of the companies.
I was fortunate enough to listen in on the winter meeting of the British Business Angels Association held recently at NESTA. Of particular interest was a session on opportunities for investment in 2012 - which I have added below to the views of an Economist correspondent.
The Innovation in Giving Fund is backing a series of projects using technological platforms to make it easier to give time and money. Quite a few are supporting new kinds of exchange, including time banks and complementary currencies.
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